University of Denver Magazine fall 2015 issue

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Magazine for University of Denver alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends. Topics covered in this issue include the new Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging, the impact of higher education on the state of Colorado, the men's lacrosse NCAA victory, and alumni profiles.



Office of the Chancellor

Dear Friends,
The University of Denver is on the move. We are doing great things, and we are poised to build
upon our core strengths and accomplish even more—together—for our students and for the
public good.
This issue chronicles just a few examples of our momentum. The men’s lacrosse team’s Memorial
Day win over the University of Maryland—earning us the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse
championship title for the first time ever—was one of the greatest moments so far in my time
as chancellor. To me, the championship represents not only the incredible talent of coach Bill
Tierney and our fabulous student-athletes, but also the return on years of investments in building
world-class programs at DU.
Across the University, our students, faculty and staff are making an impact on Denver and the
world beyond. The new Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging, for instance, will bring together
faculty and students from across disciplines to address one of the most pressing issues American
society faces in the years to come.
And in an interview, I join Miriam Tapia Salinas, executive director of diversity enrollment and
community partnerships, to discuss DU’s efforts to ensure broader access to qualified students
in order to provide opportunity, build a strong class and to prepare leaders for the future of
organizations, communities and our democracy.
This fall, we will share a draft of our strategic plan—informed by input from more than 2,500
alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends—with our campus community. With their
feedback, we hope to have a finalized plan approved by January 2016.
As we envision our future, we will build upon our strengths: a strong liberal arts undergraduate
program; well-respected professional and graduate programs; renowned faculty who are as
committed to their scholarship as they are to transformative teaching; and a deep commitment to
the public good. We must maintain DU’s path-breaking spirit, drawing upon our strengths and
creating a model for a 21st-century global university.
I look forward to sharing more news of our successes in the months and years to come. And I
welcome you to visit, where you can follow the progress of our planning efforts.

Rebecca Chopp


18 Focus on aging

A new DU center takes a multifaceted approach to a critical issue

By Scott Wooldridge

22 That championship season

The Pioneers make men’s lacrosse history

By Caleb Hannan

26 How important is
higher education?

The September inauguration of Chancellor Rebecca Chopp puts
a spotlight on issues of impact and access

By Nelson Harvey


8 Betting on initiative

Denver entrepreneur JB Holston named new dean
of engineering school

9 Best in the field

Individually and together, Pioneers dominate in 2014–15 season

11 One to watch

Passion for public policy guides Jessica Davidson’s DU experience

12 Cross-cultural connections

Art, dance and music make up the University’s contribution to
Denver’s Biennial of the Americas

14 Welcome to the real world

Business student’s summer internship pays off
with a job after graduation

16 Stressed mom, stressed baby

DU research examines the effects of stress during pregnancy

35 Alumni Connections
On the cover: Higher education touches every aspect of life in Colorado; read the
stories starting on page 26.
This page: The DU men’s lacrosse team won its first NCAA championship in May;
read the story on page 22.

Raised on radio
Your 150th anniversary timeline [spring 2014] brought back
memories of my time at the campus radio station.
I came to DU in 1966 from Du Quoin, Ill.,
because of the reputation of the mass comm
school, and immediately started working at
KVDU. My freshman year I co-hosted a morning
hour with a senior whose name, I believe, was
Boyd. I’m pretty sure we were the first station in
Denver to play Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody
to Love.” I became the sports director my
sophomore year and kept the job for three years. I did play-by-play of DU
home basketball games, many of which we had to record on-site and then
bring the reels back to the studio. Some of the many people I remember
working with include Peter Funt, RT Simpson, Larry Jacobs, Larry Hots,
Bill Saul and Trip Reeb. In the summer of 1969 I hosted the morning show,
pop country, for Denver radio station KQXI, 1550 AM.
Bob Appuhn (BA ’70)
Logan, Utah

Remembering Willy
I enjoyed the article about Willy Schaeffler, the DU ski coach [winter
2015]. I started at DU in 1947 and thought I was a fair skier. Willy took up
a rope tow to the top of Balch (now part of Mary Jane). He said, “Follow
me,” and skied down the edge on one ski in fresh powder. That was done so
we could not follow. We also tried running up the stairs of the old football
stadium with leather ski boots. Willy kept us working! I spent a couple of
years improving my skiing skills.
Studying and trying to graduate ended my competitive skiing, but
I did progress to teaching downhill skiing at Winter Park. In 1958–59,
when I was ski patrol leader at Loveland Basin, the patrol was awarded

magazine.du.e du
Volume 16, Number 1
Kevin A. Carroll
David Basler
Managing Editor
Greg Glasgow
Senior Editor
Tamara Chapman
Editorial Assistants
Sawyer D’Argonne (BA ’15)
Meg McIntyre (‘16)
Carley St. Clair (‘16)
Wayne Armstrong • James Ellis
Caleb Hannan • Nelson Harvey
Kathryn Mayer (BA ‘07, MA ‘10)
Scott Wooldridge • Paul Zoeller
Gr aphic Designer
Miles Woolen
Editorial Board
Julie Reeves, associate vice chancellor,
brand marketing • Kristine Cecil, associate
vice chancellor for university advancement
Deborah Fowlkes, executive director of
alumni relations • Julie Chiron, executive
director of communications for university
advancement • Sarah Satterwhite, senior
director of development communications
The University of Denver Magazine is published three
times a year (fall, winter and spring) by the University
of Denver, Division of Marketing and Communications,
2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208-4816. The
University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) is an Equal
Opportunity Institution.

“outstanding ski patrol in the U.S.”
Stanley Davies Jr. (BS ’51, MBA ’58)
Longmont, Colo.

Join the discussion!
Send your letters to the editor:
[email protected]

4 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

Printed on 10% PCW recycled paper

Wayne Armstrong

Celebrating their time at
DU, 1,019 graduate and
993 undergraduate students
walked in the 2015 spring
Commencement ceremonies
on June 5 and 6, respectively.
Michael Bennet, United
States senator for Colorado,
delivered the undergraduate
Commencement address,
and Carol Geary Schneider,
president of the Association
of American Colleges
and Universities, spoke to
graduate students.



Sturm College of Law professor

Catherine Smith co-authored
an amicus brief cited by the
Supreme Court in Obergefell
v. Hodges, the decision in June
that recognized the constitutional
right of same-sex couples to
marry. In the friend-of-the-court
briefs filed in Obergefell and
in an earlier case that struck
down the Defense of Marriage
Act, Smith and her co-authors
argued that if the government
insists that marriage is good for
Two University of Denver deans will soon

children of opposite-sex parents,

step down from their posts to resume teaching

then marriage is also good for

at DU: Martin Katz (left), dean of the Sturm
College of Law, and James Herbert Williams,

children of same-sex parents.

dean of the Graduate School of Social Work
(GSSW). Both will step down at the end of the

Ed Estlow, a 1942 graduate of the University of Denver who was recognized

2015–16 school year. During Katz’s tenure,

by the institution as an honorary life trustee in 2014, died May 9 at

which began in 2009, the Sturm College has

age 95. A standout athlete and scholar during his time at DU, Estlow

risen more than 20 places in the U.S. News &

went on to a long and successful career

World Report law school rankings. The school

in the newspaper industry, working as an

now has six specialty programs ranked in the

executive at the Rocky Mountain News and

U.S. News Top 25 and has been ranked No.

serving the E. W. Scripps Co. as its CEO.

10 on the National Jurist’s list of Best Schools

Estlow retired from the media giant in 1985

for Practical Training. Williams’ leadership

and returned to his home state of Colorado,

has similarly transformed GSSW: Student and

where he chaired DU’s Board of Trustees for

faculty quality, enrollments and community

five years, ending his term in 1990. Estlow

outreach have grown enormously during his

and his wife, Charlotte, whom Estlow met

tenure. After a planned year of leave, Williams

when they were both DU students and who

will return to GSSW as the Milton Morris

died in 2013, founded the Edward W. and

Endowed Chair.

Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for
Journalism and New Media at DU.

6 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

The Anderson Academic Commons building on
the University of Denver campus has received the LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver
certification. The major renovation of Penrose Library into
the Anderson Academic Commons was completed in 2013.
DU purposefully designed the project to increase efficiency,
to reuse or recycle materials and to make the building
healthier for its occupants. The AAC earned Silver—the
LEED program’s third highest category—for “green” qualities,
including a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system,
water-conserving faucets and toilets, high-efficiency light
fixtures and use of low-e glass windows.

In May, the University announced two new initiatives that
demonstrate the institution’s ongoing commitment to veterans:
the Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology at the Graduate
School of Professional Psychology, which will help create

Two-thirds of University of Denver undergraduates
who qualify for financial assistance do not have their
full need met, leading to higher student loan debt.
The University is matching private philanthropy with
its own resources to increase endowed scholarship
funding. The Momentum Scholarship Challenge will
help solve the pressing problem of rising educational
debt and will better prepare our students for lives and
careers of purpose.
Join us in changing the lives of high-quality students
who will transform their communities – here on
campus and around the globe.
Build momentum toward our future.
Call today to learn how the University
can match a portion of your gift.

more knowledgeable and skilled mental health care providers
for veterans; and the Veterans Advocacy Project at the Sturm
College of Law, which will provide legal advice and services
to assist with the myriad legal issues many veterans face.


Betting on initiative

Denver entrepreneur JB Holston named new dean of engineering school
By Tamara Chapman

Kathleen Lavine/Denver Business Journal

Noted Denver entrepreneur and scale-up CEO JB Holston
took the helm of the University’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of
Engineering and Computer Science on July 1.
Holston brings more than 25 years as a senior executive at
Fortune 500 companies, as a venture capital-backed CEO, and
as a startup entrepreneur of six highly successful enterprises
to his new role as dean of the Ritchie School. Holston’s
appointment is expected to propel the school in a new direction
that emphasizes innovation and collaboration with key players
in the region’s ideas economy.
“JB has a global reputation with an intentional focus in
Denver and Colorado,” Chancellor Rebecca Chopp says. “He
will put DU, and through it, the entire Front Range region,
at the cutting edge of innovation, knowledge and teaching.
His leadership, experience and connections will help to make
the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science an
intellectual and economic driver for our growing region.”
Holston was most recently founding executive director
of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, an organization
launched in 2014 at the behest of Colorado Sen. Michael
Bennet and with the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper and
the Blackstone Group. The network was created to gather

Colorado’s best serial entrepreneurs around the mission of
identifying, promoting, connecting and assisting large-scale,
fast-growing firms in critical advanced industries in the state.
Since its launch, the network has added more than 220 advisors
and adopted 47 of Colorado’s highest-potential firms.
Holston’s appointment is part of a major investment by
DU to expand research and innovation in engineering and
technology and to connect the University to leading technology
companies and cutting-edge entrepreneurs.
“I think DU is at the geographic vortex of transformative
next-generation creativity,” says Holston, who holds a BA and
MBA from Stanford University and was the recipient of the
2014 Colorado Technology Association’s Lifetime Achievement
Award. “I’m a total Colorado homer, but if you look at all the
trends going on in Colorado around innovation—particularly
around technology-related fields, but really in any category,
as all industries are being disrupted by technology—it’s an
incredibly exciting time. I think we have the best economic
conditions I’ve seen in Colorado in the 20-plus years I’ve been
here. The fact that we’ve got this platform—this platform that
is the University—right in the geographic center of all of this
awesomeness is really exciting to me.”

>> JB Holston talks about technology, entrepreneurship and the University’s
relationship to Denver’s tech scene in an interview at
8 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


Best in the field

Individually and together, Pioneers dominate in 2014–15 season
By University of Denver Athletics Staff

The past year was a big one for University of Denver
athletics. In addition to capturing its first-ever NCAA men’s
lacrosse championship (see feature story, page 22), Denver
once again claimed the Learfield Sports DI-AAA Directors’
Cup, finishing ahead of all non-football schools. It was the
seventh time in eight years that DU has brought home the
trophy. In the overall standings—including football schools—
Denver finished 49th, marking the second straight year in
which the Pioneers have finished in the Top 50.
The University of Denver also was highly ranked in the
Capital One Cup, an NCAA award that honors the top men’s
and women’s college athletics program in the country. Thanks
to the men’s lacrosse victory, as well as Top 10 finishes in
skiing and ice hockey, the University of Denver men came in at
No. 5 in the Capital One rankings—14 points higher than last
year, when the men ranked No. 19 in the final standings.
“It’s been a very productive and rewarding year for DU
athletics, and these awards are definitely a great way to cap
things off,” says Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for
athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center operations. “While
we take great pride in being among the nation’s best athletic
departments, the exceptionally high caliber of the young men
and women who represent the Pioneers with tremendous
aplomb, both in competition and in the classroom, is our
greatest accomplishment.”

Individual Pioneers shone in 2014–15 as well, chief
among them freshman skier Monica Hübner, who was named
National Women’s Alpine Skier of the Year by the United States
Collegiate Ski Coaches Association.
Hübner, who came to DU from Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
Germany, dazzled in her freshman season for the Pioneers,
culminating with a dramatic victory in the women’s slalom at
the NCAA Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., in March.
Another standout was swimmer Samantha Corea (BA
’15), who spent her college career rewriting the Pioneer record
books. The senior English major left DU with eight school
records, more than any swimmer in school history. She finished
off her impressive collegiate resumé by breaking three DU
records, medaling twice at the 2015 NCAA Championships,
being named to the Summit League All-Academic team for
the second consecutive year, and being one of only 60 college
athletes nationwide to be awarded a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate
Scholarship—recognition for her academic success, which
includes an impressive 3.71 grade point average.
“For Samantha to be included in this group of studentathletes is a special accomplishment,” says head swimming
coach Brian Schrader. “It really embodies the message and
mission we are charged with at DU—to succeed with great
students who are also great athletes.”

>> Read a fall/winter sports preview at
University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015



Former Denver mayor Federico Peña
among new Board of Trustees members
As the University of Denver begins to envision its long-term
future by embarking on an in-depth strategic planning process,
the University’s Board of Trustees has elected three new members
who will spotlight the University’s many connections with the city
of Denver and its commitment to the future of higher education
and the cultivation of philanthropy.
The three newly elected members are: Mary Sue Coleman,
former president of the University of Michigan; DU alumnus Craig
Harrison, an entrepreneur and managing director of a Denverbased investment firm; and Federico Peña, former mayor of the
city of Denver, who also served as secretary of energy and secretary
of transportation under the Clinton administration.
Coleman, who also served as president of the University
of Iowa, brings more than 20 years of higher education
leadership experience to the DU board. Most recently, in her
tenure at Michigan, Coleman led major initiatives to enhance
interdisciplinary programs, student residential life, global
engagement and the value of innovation and creativity. Her
leadership extended to efforts to build the economic vitality of the
state of Michigan.

Just a few years after graduating from DU, Harrison
(BSBA ’03) co-founded a Young Alumni Scholarship fund at
the University of Denver. He most recently helped start the
General George W. Casey Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund at
the University’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
Harrison is managing director of Arrowhead Partners LLC, an
investment management firm involved with operating companies
and water resources throughout the Rocky Mountain region. He
also serves as managing director of West Creek Partners, a closely
held investment firm, which he co-founded in 2011. Harrison
has shared his expertise with the University before, serving most
recently on the University Advancement Committee of the DU
board and on the 2014 Founders Day volunteer committee.
Peña already serves at DU as a member of the board for the
Latino Leadership Institute at the Daniels College of Business.
He currently is a senior advisor to Vestar Capital Partners and to
the Colorado Impact Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to
supporting local companies that generate consistent investment
returns in addition to positive community outcomes.

I N T H E 2 014 – 15 F I S C A L Y E A R



6.9M 55%


THAN $25,000






Areas of
Greatest Need


[email protected]


Passion for public policy guides
Jessica Davidson’s DU experience

Cam Welch Photography

By Greg Glasgow

No one is as surprised as Jessica Davidson that she ended
up not only a political science major, but vice president of DU’s
Undergraduate Student Government as well.
“When I was a kid, my parents’ friends—as everybody tells
children—would say, ‘One day you’ll be president of the United
States,’” recalls Davidson, who is pursuing a BA in political
science and a concurrent master’s of public policy degree
through DU’s 4+1 program. “And because I heard adults say
this all the time, I would say, ‘Whatever; I hate politics.’ I had no
idea what that meant, but I used to say it all the time as a kid.”
That all changed Davidson’s first year at DU, when a firstyear seminar with political science professor Peter Hanson
sparked a passion for politics that led her to student government
and a possible future career in policy analysis.
“A big part of it also came from the presidential debate
being here on campus my freshman year,” Davidson says of
her interest in politics. “I actually ended up getting a ticket at
the last minute, and on the floor of the debate I met Sen. Mark
Udall and I told him I was interested in the law and that I was
taking a politics class, and he offered me an internship on
the spot. The following fall I interned for his office, and that’s
when I really started to become very invested in politics. And I
haven’t looked back since.”
Davidson joined DU’s Undergraduate Student Government
as a senator her sophomore year and “had a really great

experience, but when I ended the year I didn’t really feel
satisfied,” she says. “I felt like there was a lot more that could
have been done.” So in spring 2015, she and junior Cameron
Hickert ran for—and won—the election for USG vice president
and president, respectively. Their term begins in fall quarter
Her passion for politics also has taken Davidson to an
internship with a Denver-based lobbying firm, as well as to
Uganda, where, thanks to a DU research grant, she traveled in
summer 2015 to conduct research for the Global Livingston
Institute on the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Davidson says law school may be in her future someday,
but for now she aspires to a position as a policy analyst for a
senator or a congress member.
“It would be fun to serve as an elected official, but I don’t
know that elected officials are always those who are making
the most change and are making the most decisions,” she says.
“It really is their advisors who are saying, ‘This is exactly what
the policy is and how it’s going to impact people.’ That’s what I
really get passionate about, is when we can take an issue and we
can find a solution and connect the two in a way that utilizes
people’s rights through government and is also meaningful and
helps communities.”

University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015



Cross-cultural connections

Art, dance and music make up DU’s contribution to Denver’s Biennial of the Americas
By Tamara Chapman
Photography by Wayne Armstrong

Since its launch in 2010, Denver’s Biennial of the Americas
has sought to forge ties—via art and ideas—among the dozens
of countries and two continents that make up the Western
Hemisphere. The Biennial’s 2015 edition—held July 14–19—
offered a full menu of exhibits, performances and topical
discussions. And the University of Denver was part of the mix.
To bring some south-of-the-equator moves to Denver,
DU’s Newman Center Presents performing arts series
sponsored the regional debut of Brazil’s street-smart
Companhia Urbana de Dança. The Rio de Janeiro-based
company fuses hip-hop, contemporary choreography and
Brazilian social dance with a smattering of sociopolitical
commentary. The company kept a busy schedule during its
Biennial appearance, offering a number of public workshops
around the city and an evening performance with Denver’s
Wonderbound dance company at a special Biennial Night
Companhia Urbana de Dança’s Biennial headquarters was
the University of Denver campus, where the dancers offered a
free workshop to the University community and performed a
ticketed show at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.
The evening featured the troupe’s much-hailed “I. You. We…
All Black,” a piece that reflects Rio’s complicated race and class
12 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

Meanwhile, the Playground Ensemble, artists-in-residence
at the Lamont School of Music, paired four professional
composers with four young composers from around the
Americas to write short musical “postcards.” Each “postcard”
addressed one of the key themes of the Biennial and how it
relates to the composer’s life.
Insightful commentary also was on the menu at “Now?
Now!”—the Biennial’s central visual arts exhibition, staged at
the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. It featured a new
media installation by Christopher Coleman and Laleh Mehran,
professors in DU’s emergent digital practices program.
Known internationally for their innovative use of emerging
media, Coleman and Mehran were among the 31 artists from
throughout the hemisphere who caught the eye of curator
Lauren Wright. Wright personally selected the participating
artists and tasked them with exploring present realities.
“They’re such important, really groundbreaking members
of the art community, not just here, but internationally,”
Wright says of Coleman and Mehran. “They use technology to
make us look at things in different ways.”
The Coleman-Mehran submission, titled “Unclaimed,”
explored the idea of airspace—the atmospheric zone that a
nation claims as its own, though the air in Denver on one day
may well be the air in Montevideo the next week.

“It’s space that nobody has domain over. Everybody
has the right to use it, but nobody has the right to control
it,” Coleman explains. “We were interested in the problems
of the commons, something that is owned by everyone.”
In other words, Mehran adds, “nobody can plant a flag
on it.”
To communicate this point, “Unclaimed” utilized a
full room at the MCA. The ceiling was lined with 200 tiny
fans covered by a thin sheet of plastic. When the fans were
on, the cover undulated with the airflow—movement that
was depicted on two nearby video monitors. Underneath
this air system, Coleman and Mehran created an expansive
cityscape, with roughly 200 buildings generated by a 3-D
printer. A light system showed the city through a 24-hour
cycle, with a full day completed every few hours.
Viewers were invited not just to examine the airflow,
but to contribute to it. If they leaned over the city and blew,
they could get a sense for how air circulates and of where
it goes. When several people were blowing at once, it was
easy to see how human behavior in one locale can affect
the air downwind.
Coleman and Mehran consider the work both a
technical and an aesthetic accomplishment. Engineering
the installation took months of round-the-clock research,
and construction began the minute classes ended in late
spring and continued until moments before the opening.
“They were practically residents of the museum for
two weeks,” Wright notes.
For their part, Coleman and Mehran were honored
to participate in the Biennial, with its growing stature
and mix of world-class talent. Although creating the
installation left them no sleep time for weeks, Mehran says,
“We were crazy excited to be here.”

>> See Chris Coleman and Laleh Mehran’s
Biennial installation go from early stages to finished
product in a slide show at



DU takes over the Denver Zoo.
Alumni will have exclusive access to
Zoo Lights, with plenty of parking
and no lines!
Find out more at


Welcome to the real world
Business student’s summer internship pays off with a job after graduation
By Greg Glasgow

constantly thinking about how you can differentiate yourself.
Sometimes the pressure is a lot.
Q: Did it feel like a real job in that sense? What were your
responsibilities? Were you working 40 hours a week?
A: The most I ever worked was 65 hours in a week. It didn’t feel that
nuts; it just felt good and right. I wanted to stay late. You’re not just
making photocopies or running to get coffee—you’re actually doing
work, and it has an impact. It’s very cool for that reason, because it’s
the first time you’re ever recognized for your education.
Q: What was it like to see things you had learned about in the
classroom come to life in the real world?
A: That happened, but so much more of what made you successful
in the internship had to do with how personable you were, how you
present yourself. The interviews are so rigorous because they want
to make sure that you are a hard worker—that you actually are
going to be able to sustain yourself for the duration of the summer.
You have to be smart, you have to do well in all your classes, but it’s
so much more about what you bring to the table.
Q: Were you immediately aware of what a great opportunity the
internship was, or did that take a little while to realize?
Wayne Armstrong

University of Denver undergraduates know that internships pay off
in ways large and small—gaining skills, building a network, getting
real-world experience—but every once in a while an internship pays
off in a really big way: with a job offer after graduation.
Recent graduate Carly Westerfield, who in March 2015 received
a BSBA in finance from the Daniels College of Business, is part
of that fortunate group. After interning at global investment firm
Goldman Sachs’ Utah outpost in summer 2014, she received
an offer to work in the company’s New York office as a junior
operations analyst. She started the job in July.
Q: It sounds like this was a pretty intense internship where you were
essentially competing with other interns. What was that like?
A: I felt a little bit of competition because you know at the end of
the summer you’re either going to get a job offer or you’re not. That’s
understood. They tell you, “This is a 10-week job interview.” You’re

14 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

A: At the very beginning, I definitely came to it with this whole “sell
it to me” kind of attitude; I was like, “This is great, but I want to
know what you guys can do for me.” But by the end of the summer,
I was smitten with it—the company really does treat you so well,
and I was aware of how lucky I would be if I were to be offered a
position. The reality of how competitive it was and how lucky I was
to even have an internship kind of set in. I remember thinking, “I
really don’t know what I would do if they offered me a full-time job.
I don’t know if I could say yes fast enough.”
Q: Do you plan to stay at Goldman Sachs for the long haul, or are
you looking at this as a springboard to other positions in other
A: During the summer [internship], we would have talks every
week from senior managers who would talk about when they were
an intern 20, 30, 40 years ago and here they are today—they were
retiring five years from now. And it hit me that this really could be
it for me if I wanted it to be. I know how lucky I would be if that
were my story, but I know that there are other interests that I have
and there’s more out there. You don’t know what other doors will
open, but it’s kind of an amazing thing knowing that this could be
my one and only job.




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Stressed mom, stressed baby

DU research examines the effects of stress during pregnancy
By James Ellis
Photography by Wayne Armstrong

Don’t eat sushi. Don’t drink alcohol. Ditto for coffee.
Steer clear of hot tubs. Your hormones may make you feel like
you’re on a metaphorical roller coaster, but you should not get
on a literal one.
Pregnant women have grown used to enduring the everlengthening list of things they need to avoid to ensure a safe
and healthy birth. A new University of Denver study suggests
that stress—one of the most natural reactions a mother can
have while walking around with a tiny human inside her
womb—can be harmful to babies, possibly wiring the fetal
brains for worry and anxiety permanently.
Psychology professor Elysia Davis and her colleagues—
including undergraduate and graduate students—have spent
years studying the effect pregnant women’s stress reactions
have on the fetus. One hormone Davis has focused on is
cortisol, which the body produces and passes through the
placenta to the unborn child.
“Cortisol plays an important role in regulating the
maturation of the fetus, such as lung development,” Davis
says. “These stress systems in the body aren’t just there to
cause damage or harm us.”
A pregnant woman can expect her cortisol level to
increase by two to four times. But when Davis and her
colleagues studied expectant mothers with cortisol levels
consistently higher than normal early in the pregnancy, they
16 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

made a startling discovery: Their infants displayed a much
higher sensitivity to stress than other babies.
“After birth, every baby gets its blood drawn by the
hospital,” Davis says. “The babies who had the largest cortisol
response to the stress of having their blood drawn were the
ones whose mothers had high levels of cortisol when they
were pregnant. The babies exposed to higher maternal cortisol
before birth had a bigger stress reaction.”
As these babies grew from infancy to toddlerhood, they
exhibited heightened levels of anxiety compared to other
children. “In our lab, we presented the 2-year-olds a series
of challenges, such as exploring a room with toys including
a floor-level balance beam or having a stranger enter the
room and roll a ball to them,” Davis says. “These toddlers
consistently showed more fearful behaviors in response to
these moderately challenging situations.”
Instead of enthusiastically engaging in play with the
stranger with the ball, for instance, the toddlers would instead
stand frozen by the wall or run back to their mothers. “They
showed more fearful expressions than normal,” Davis says.
By the time the children were between ages 6 and 9, MRI
scans revealed that the children’s amygdala, the section of
the brain associated with the human response to frightening
stimuli, were larger than normal. “Not only are mothers
reporting that the children show anxious behavior, such as

being scared of going to school, but we can see differences in
the way their brains have developed,” Davis says.
The next step for Davis and her colleagues is to observe
the children as they enter adolescence, when many mental
health disorders, such as depression, begin to emerge.
The study highlights the importance of keeping both
a healthy body and a sound mind for expectant mothers.
“We don’t pay attention to women’s mental health during
pregnancy the same way we do to other areas, such as their
nutrition,” Davis says. “We know that women with strong
social support, whether from their partner or their sister or
their friends, are protected.”
The best advice Davis can give worried pregnant mothers
is to take care of their mental health by carrying on with the
activities they normally enjoy.
“Whether it’s going out for a walk or hanging out with
friends, we all know what we can do to take care of our mental
health,” she says.
>> This article first appeared in the Newsweek Special Edition “Your Baby’s Brain: How New Science is Unlocking the Secrets of the Infant Mind.”

18 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

on Aging
A new DU center takes a
multifaceted approach
to a critical issue

By Scot t Wooldridge
A new center at the University of
Denver is encouraging faculty and
students from across campus to come
together to study an issue that will
directly affect millions of Americans over
the coming decades.
Funded in part by a $10 million
naming gift from Betty Knoebel,
widow of Denver food-service pioneer
Ferdinand “Fritz” Knoebel, the new
Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging
will pull together experts from a wide
range of disciplines to focus on the
challenges associated with aging—
studying not just medical issues around
growing older, but addressing questions
around law, lifestyle, housing and

psychology, to name just a few. It also will
provide new areas of focus for DU faculty
and students.
“With 10,000 people turning 65 every
day in this country, the study of aging is
critically important,” says University of
Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “The
Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging
will bring together the University of
Denver’s many academic and professional
programs, research faculty and students
to make a positive impact on the Denver
metro area and on society at large. A
holistic approach to how we age well is
one of the greatest frontiers for research,
support and engagement at DU.” →

University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


FOCUSon Aging
The origins of a new center

The story of the Knoebel Center began more than 10 years
ago, when University officials started looking for a signature
project, one that could become a regional center of excellence as
well as a focus of the institution’s research and academic talent.
Lynn Taussig, past president and CEO of the Denverbased National Jewish Medical and Research Center and a
current special advisor on life sciences at DU, was asked by
the University to lead an effort to find a life sciences focus that
would be unique to the institution.
“It became apparent that aging was a good focal point
for moving forward,” Taussig says. “Robert Coombe, who
was chancellor at the time, said it should be a campus-wide
initiative. And there really
has been tremendous
interest. This is such a
huge issue for the country.
There are so many
different aspects to our
aging population. We
can’t cover them all, but
we can focus on a number
of areas with the expertise
we’re developing.”
Scheduled to open
this fall, the Knoebel
Center will be located
on the fifth floor of
the new engineering
facility currently under construction on the south side of
campus. The building, which was funded by a $27 million gift
from Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, will have four floors
dedicated to the newly renamed Daniel Felix Ritchie School of
Engineering and Computer Science.

at DU. “Lotta is from a medical background, but what she’s
really excited about is this idea of not just preventing disease,
but helping people live the fullest, most independent lives.”
For her part, Granholm says the 15 years she spent at the
University of South Carolina taught her a lot about building a
program from the ground up. “I have had to be very resourceful
and collaborative, due to the lack of resources at the university
and in the state of South Carolina,” she says. “I’ve learned that
nothing is impossible.”
In her new role at DU, Granholm says, she is looking
forward to bringing together several strong programs to address
issues around aging. “For me, this was a unique opportunity
to tie widely different lines of research together, such as
engineering, law, biology and business,” she says.

We've put more effort
into helping folks
reach old age than into
helping them enjoy it.

Finding the right leadership
DU officials also conducted a national search to find the
right leader for the new effort. In April 2015, the University
named internationally known neurobiologist Lotta Granholm
as the center’s executive director.
Most recently director of the Center on Aging at the Medical
University of South Carolina, Granholm also earned her PhD at
the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. She officially began her
duties at the Knoebel Center on Sept. 1.
“We wanted to bring someone in who knew what needed to
be done,” says Corinne Lengsfeld, associate provost for research
20 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

-Frank A. Clark,

American author and cartoonist
“If we are to design a better future for older individuals,
we must think about all aspects, including not only health, but
also elder law, social work and clinical psychology,” she says.
“DU appears to be ready to take on novel ideas in education
and also in research, so I think it is a place where this kind of
interprofessional project has a chance to succeed.”
Shelly Smith-Acuña, dean of the Graduate School of
Professional Psychology, expects that the center will not only
give faculty across campus the chance to work together in a
whole new way, it will allow the University to work with the
Denver community in a new way as well.
“This topic area is going to give us such an opportunity
for the kind of seamless integration of research, service and
training that the University wants to be known for,” she says.
“For example, [the Graduate School of Professional Psychology
has] faculty members who are interested in stroke recovery,
so our faculty and students can be involved in assessment
of post-stroke functioning, with the understanding that

FOCUSon Aging
part of the center’s work. “We are planning to organize many
community events, including going into area churches or senior
centers, and we’ll develop a resources website and newsletters
with information,” she said.
The center also will reach out to international institutions,
as well as the business community. “An important area is to
enhance entrepreneurialism in the aging field,” Granholm says.
“DU has researchers who have designed novel drugs, tools,
applications or engineering equipment that should be developed

they’ll be providing a service and also collecting data on what
interventions are possible to aid stroke recovery.
“I think it’s great that we’ll be pulling together faculty
members with different areas of expertise,” Smith-Acuña says,
“and knowing we’re going to amplify our impact by having
them work together.”

According to David Greenberg, the University’s vice
chancellor of institutional partnerships, DU is well equipped
to begin exploring aging issues. “DU is the oldest and largest
private research university in the Rockies. We have a wide group
of graduate programs, all of which fit well with aging issues,”
he says. “It’s just a good set of departments and colleges we have
here that lends itself to being able to do cooperative work.” He
notes that issues such as housing, mobility and independence are
all areas that researchers at DU can work together to address.
One project that already has demonstrated the promise of
the interdisciplinary approach is a research initiative by Leslie
Hasche, of the Graduate School of Social Work, and Anne
DePrince, chair of the Department of Psychology. The two
collaborated on research into risk factors for elder abuse—a study
that drew $500,000 in funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.
DU can provide research that goes beyond medical geriatric
care or other health care-related issues, Lengsfeld says. It’s quality
of life that matters to seniors.
“It’s not just about living longer anymore; it’s very much
about living longer and living to the full capacity that’s possible,”
she says. “This center is needed because there needs to be a
place where people think about that aspect. What should the
expectations be—how long can we push independence, and how
do we define what people need to make them truly independent?”

The future of the center
Lengsfeld says the center will allow graduate and
undergraduate students to expand their research to topics that
will be of interest to those in other departments and divisions.
“We know from the University’s recent strategic planning
process that students want these opportunities,” she says. “We
also intend to leverage the activities of the faculty to move the
age-related work they do into the classroom more often, which is
already happening, but we want to do more of it. As the number
of course opportunities grows, options for minors and degree
specializations will naturally spring up.”
Granholm notes that community involvement also will be

Paul Zoeller

Bringing the pieces together

Lotta Granholm
into future businesses. Providing incubator space and business
know-how will be extremely important.”
Lengsfeld also is interested in how research on aging will
translate into new enterprises and business opportunities.
“If you look around, over the last five years, companies that
are dedicated to assisting seniors and caregivers have seen
tremendous growth,” she says. “The only reason that companies
would be growing in this area is if the general public had been
demanding it.
“People are more and more aware [of aging issues],” she
continues. “I’ve heard people say, ‘I’m not just interested in
preventing disease; I want to be skiing in Aspen when I’m 85.’ So
the expectation is not just getting up in the morning. They want
to maintain the lifestyle they have.”
Granholm says she is looking forward to seeing where the
work of the new center leads. “This will be an experiment,
in that DU does not have any other interdisciplinary centers
that span such wide areas,” she says. “I am excited to get the
opportunity to help develop this center—I think we have a real
chance of developing something unique.”

University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


The Pioneers make men’s
lacrosse history
By Caleb Hannan


or coach Bill Tierney, the secret to getting his University
of Denver men’s lacrosse team to stay focused and
relaxed before the program’s first national championship
game was to do nothing at all.
On May 25, Tierney’s Pioneers faced off against the
University of Maryland Terrapins at Philadelphia’s Lincoln
Financial Field. It was the third straight year that Tierney
and the Pioneers had reached the Division I tournament’s
Championship Weekend. In each of the prior tournaments, the
Pioneers had come up just short. So Tierney resolved to make a
change by not changing anything at all.
“This year we just said, ‘nothing different,’” he says. “We just
treated it like any other trip.”
That meant ditching previous gimmicks Tierney had used
to fire up his team. Gone were motivational speakers like
then-Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker. Gone too
were the beards the players grew last year before losing in the
semifinals. Or the superstition that they shouldn’t touch the Big
East tournament trophy in fear that it might jinx their chances
of winning the bigger one that goes to national champions.

24 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

Tierney’s insistence on boring routine even filtered down to the
team’s meals—the players ate breakfast nearly every day at the
same restaurant across the street from the hotel.
That emphasis on normalcy had paid off one game earlier,
when the Pioneers were tested by Notre Dame in the semifinals.
Despite blowing a big lead and being forced into overtime, Tierney
says his players weren’t rattled. “The huddle was very calm,” he
says. “We knew all we needed to do was score one goal.”
Which they did. Which led to the showdown against No.
6-seeded Maryland, a game watched by students in a half-dozen
sponsored parties near campus and by alumni at get-togethers in
a dozen cities around the country, from Atlanta to Seattle.
In contrast to the nail-biter against Notre Dame, the Pioneers
were dominant in the final. The tournament’s most outstanding
player, Wesley Berg, scored five goals, while senior goaltender
Ryan LaPlante registered 13 saves in the 10-5 victory, a game in
which the Pioneers never trailed. After the final whistle sounded,
the Pioneers mobbed each other on the field, then took turns
cutting off parts of the net and tucking the souvenirs into their
shorts for safekeeping as the celebration continued.

Among the many spectators in the stands was Chancellor
Rebecca Chopp, whose first year at the DU helm ended with the
Pioneers becoming the first school west of the Appalachians to
claim the men’s lacrosse title.
“Being in Philadelphia and watching Coach Tierney lead
our team to victory was an absolute highlight of my first year as
chancellor,” Chopp says.
Chopp was joined by Tierney, Denver Mayor Michael
Hancock, Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie and hundreds of
Pioneers lacrosse fans at a May 26 campus rally celebrating
the victory. Hancock’s enthusiasm about the win extended to
taking a selfie with members of the team.
“This achievement helps to bring together the whole DU
community—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,”
Chopp says.
Alumnus Charles Dorison (BA ’72) agrees. “For many of the
alums I joined in Philly, it was the best DU sports weekend of
our lives,” he says. Adds fellow alumnus Tom Douglis (BA ’86),
“Some of the students told me it was not only one of their best
days at DU, but one of the best days of their lives.”

University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


How important is



The September inauguration of Chancellor
Rebecca Chopp puts a spotlight on issues
of impact and access

¶On Sept. 18, Rebecca Chopp will be inaugurated as the

¶“Education should do three things,” Chopp says to the latter

University of Denver’s 18th chancellor. The day will involve

point. “First, it should prepare you for a lifetime of work and

the expected amount of pomp and circumstance, but amid

career success. Today’s graduating high school seniors are

the festivities, Chopp has a serious point to make: Higher

expected to have between 10 and 15 different jobs over the

education really matters, especially in Colorado.

next 20 years in three totally unrelated fields, one of which

¶To help underscore the role higher education plays in the

hasn’t come into existence yet because technology is changing

Centennial State, Chopp has invited leaders from colleges

so quickly. Second, since the founding of this country,

and universities around Colorado to take part in the day,

education has been about educating people for citizenship.

along with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado

Citizenship isn’t just voting; it’s also understanding policy and

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

being able to debate our complex problems.

¶The daylong inauguration event ends with Chopp’s

¶“Third,” she says, “[education] should enlarge your

installation ceremony, but earlier in the day, a pair of

interior. It should give you capacity to understand and see

panel discussions will focus on two key issues: the effect

the world. All parents want their kids to be successful, and

of research institutions on the state’s economy; and the

all parents want their kids to contribute to community. But

importance to Colorado of increasing access to higher

all parents also want their kids to flourish, to be happy in a


classic sense: To drink deeply from the wells of life.”
The inauguration of Chancellor Rebecca Chopp is scheduled for September 18 on campus. Visit for more information about the day, including a live stream of the ceremony.
University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


Higher Education



ne major topic of discussion at the inauguration
will be how to ensure access to higher
education for a broad and diverse range of
Colorado students. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is
scheduled to moderate a panel discussion on the issue,
leading a conversation with Chancellor Chopp; Tim
Foster, president of Colorado Mesa University; Stephen
Jordan, president of Metropolitan State University of
Denver; and Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado
Community College System.
Recently, Chopp and Miriam Tapia Salinas (MA ’12), DU’s executive director
for diversity enrollment and community partnerships, sat down with the
University of Denver Magazine to discuss that issue, reflect on their own
experiences as first-generation college students, and examine the role of higher
education in our rapidly changing economy.
This transcript of their conversation has been edited for length. Read the entire
discussion at

University of Denver Magazine: You were both firstgeneration college students. What was it that kept your parents
before you from going to college, and what was it that allowed
you to go?
Chancellor Chopp: I don’t think anybody in my parents’
world went to college. Girls grew up and got married, and the
guys worked as carpenters or plumbers or good working-class
professionals. I don’t think it was really in their imaginations
to go to college. I grew up in rural Kansas, and that wasn’t a
place where college was seen as necessary back then in the
way it is now. There especially wasn’t support for women to go
to college—all the women my parents knew all grew up and
got married.
Miriam Tapia Salinas: I come from a family of
immigrants. My mother came from Mexico, and she had a fifthgrade education. My father came from Bolivia, from a family of
educated engineers, bankers, teachers and nurses. My stepfather
was also a Mexican immigrant, and he moved to Denver and
28 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

built a marble and granite business. Before you knew it, we went
from being at the lowest level to being upper middle class, and I
was a full-pay college student. Although we had funding, people
didn’t understand that our family didn’t have the navigational
skills or the understanding of how to select a college, and so
that barrier [to higher education] truly existed. We had no idea
where we could have gone to college. We often talk about what
could have been if we’d had better advising. That’s why I’m so
passionate about college access—to ensure that others don’t face
the barriers I did.
UDM: Obviously, lack of income is a huge barrier for
many low- and middle-income families seeking to send their
children to college. What is DU doing to make its programs
more financially accessible?
CC: My top priority is providing financial assistance to our
students. Having had the experience myself of working full time
and going to college, I don’t want our students to have to do that.
I was in the second year of my PhD when I was finally able to

Higher Education

stop working incredibly hard [at an outside job] to pay my bills.
I cannot tell you the difference that made. You can’t do your
best academic work or contribute to building a rich academic
community when you are worried about money.
MTS: DU went from offering $66 million in total aid in 2007 to
a projected $146 million in 2016. But the challenge lies in our
ability to attain and utilize endowment funds [as opposed to
DU’s operations budget] for financial aid, so that we can launch
creative initiatives to attract a more diverse student body and
then support those students once they’re here.
UDM: What are some of the other issues around access
to higher education in Colorado that get less press than the
income barrier, and what is DU doing to address those?
CC: As our public schools have experienced funding reductions,
they no longer have the counselors and advisors they used
to have to let students know about college. And once firstgeneration students like myself get into college, they have a hard
time getting on the information highway: going to the dean’s
office if they have a question, or seeking out counseling if they’re
struggling, or visiting a faculty member. They are trying so hard
to adapt to a new environment that the last thing they want to
do is admit they are struggling.
MTS: To help remedy some of this, we run the Pioneer Prep
Leadership Institute, two programs that help incoming black
and Latino students adapt to college life at DU and elsewhere.
The persistence level of students in those programs who attend
DU [meaning the likelihood of staying from one year to the
next] has been close to 100 percent over the last four years, and
that is unheard of. We also partner with groups like the Denver
Scholarship Foundation, which has helped send over 100 of our
current students to DU.
UDM: How does making DU more diverse turn the school into
a richer place for its students and faculty? And what’s at stake
if universities like DU can’t increase access?
CC: Financial aid and access to higher education have certainly
provided people like Miriam and myself with opportunities. But

By the Numb ers: ACCESS AT D U


of DU students
receive some form
of financial aid

the benefit is
not just the
for the aided
the fact that
in class may
be the single
thing that
gets through
to the whole
group, or
that Rebecca
may be a
debater. Aid
and access
have always
been about
three things:
to individuals,
building the
that students
need to learn,
and identifying the merit pool for democracy—the very best
possible leaders.
MTS: There is also an industry focus. By 2020, experts project
that nearly three-quarters of all jobs in Colorado will require
some level of postsecondary education. And there’s the fact
that companies with more gender and racial diversity have
been shown to outperform their less diverse competitors.
Beyond industry, it’s an issue of democracy and equity. It’s
a responsibility and a privilege for us to prepare a group of
dynamic leaders that reflects our evolving nation.

$125.2 MILLION
is awarded to undergraduates each year


is in the form of grants
or scholarships



of undergraduate and
graduate students are
students of color

More than
international students
are enrolled from 87 different countries

From science and technology to education and health care to
arts and entertainment, Colorado’s colleges and universities make
invaluable contributions to the state’s economy. Yet their impact
doesn’t stop there. As this quick survey shows, higher education
touches virtually every aspect of life in the Centennial State.


AT DU: The Unmanned Systems Research Institute, housed within the Daniel

Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, focuses on designing
and building the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, commonly
called drones) for use in everything from monitoring crops to surveying oil and gas
pipelines. Research conducted at the institute already has led to innovations like a selfleveling landing platform that extends the range of small UAVs, cementing Colorado’s
place as a center for aeronautics research.

ACROSS COLORADO: NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement satellite

and Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 gather reams of data about precipitation patterns
and levels of climate-warming gases in the atmosphere. Researchers at Colorado State
University developed the algorithms that transform that information into a form
usable by scientists around the world.

AT DU: Whether it’s ensuring that Colorado’s cities grow in a planned and

sustainable way, protecting the state’s air from power-plant emissions or advocating
for residents of low-income, polluted neighborhoods, environmental lawyers help keep
Colorado a desirable place to live. The Environmental and Natural Resources Law
program at the Sturm College of Law produces some of the top environmental lawyers
in the state—students in the Environmental Law Clinic even gain practical experience
by representing environmental advocacy organizations in state, federal and foreign

ACROSS COLORADO: With its agrarian economy of small farms, vineyards,

dairies and agri-tourism operations backlit by spectacular scenery, Colorado’s North
Fork Valley has been compared to places like the south of France. Yet keeping such a
place vital requires a new generation of well-trained farmers and ranchers. In
2014, Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College began
offering sustainable agriculture classes to students at Hotchkiss High School, to help
future residents of the North Fork Valley make a living while preserving and caring
for the land.

30 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

Higher Education


AT DU: The electric power industry is facing a major shortage of skilled engineers,

even as the dual challenges of updating our aging power grid and incorporating more
renewable energy loom large. To fill the gap, DU’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of
Engineering and Computer Science launched an electric power and energy systems
program in the spring of 2014. Participating students gain the skills to bring our
electrical grid into the 21st century through hands-on research projects, internships at
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden and more.

ACROSS COLORADO: Nuclear power plants may be low on carbon emissions,

but safely storing their spent nuclear fuel remains a major challenge. In June 2015,
Colorado School of Mines physics professor Zeev Shayer won a $3 million grant from
the U.S. Department of Energy to study what causes corrosion and cracking of spent
nuclear fuel canisters, so that damaged canisters can be discovered and repaired before
they pose a health risk.

AT DU: Few things benefit newly resettled refugees more than training that will

help them land steady jobs. Since 2012, that’s exactly what DU’s Fritz Knoebel School
of Hospitality Management has provided to African refugees in Denver, partnering
with the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s African Community Center
to offer a Commercial Food Safety and Service Training program that readies
refugees for jobs in the food-service industry. The Knoebel School and the African
Community Center host an annual Public Good Gala to raise funds for the program;
this year’s event featured award-winning guest chef Paul Reilly, of the Denver
restaurant beast + bottle.

ACROSS COLORADO: It’s a time-tested adage that the best way to learn a skill

is simply by doing it. With that in mind, Metropolitan State University of Denver
trains students in its Hospitality, Tourism and Events program in a functioning and
thriving hotel: the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown, operated by Sage Hospitality.
The hotel is more than a living laboratory: In 2015 it beat out 63 other hotels that Sage
operates nationwide to win the company’s property of the year award.

Colorado’s 28 public colleges, universities and community colleges educate 213,956 students, more
than 190,000 of whom are Colorado residents. Higher education in Colorado supports 97,563 jobs,
which contribute $4.25 billion in wages and salaries and almost $387 million in state and local taxes to
the Colorado economy annually. (source: Colorado Department of Higher Education, 2007)

AT DU: The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the DU

campus is a crown jewel of Denver’s cultural scene, bringing some of the world’s
finest performers—from modern dancers to bluegrass musicians to classical
orchestras—to the Mile High City. Yet DU doesn’t just host elite musicians, it also
trains them: Students at the Lamont School of Music, which is housed at the Newman
Center, can specialize in composition, classical performance, jazz studies or recording
and production.

ACROSS COLORADO: Every summer since 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare

Festival has brought a taste of the Bard to Boulder, staging classic plays like “Othello”
and “Much Ado About Nothing” at theaters on the University of Colorado-Boulder
campus. The festival also offers camps and classes to educate Colorado students about
the enduring importance of Shakespeare.

AT DU: Training leaders who can transform schools around Colorado and the

nation is the mission of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)
Program at DU’s Morgridge College of Education. Widely considered one of the
top principal training programs in the country, ELPS places students in internships
with mentor principals at public, private or charter schools throughout the Denver
metro area. Program graduates have gone on to become successful principals, district
administrators and education researchers.

ACROSS COLORADO: It takes more than technical prowess to be a great

music teacher—you also need passion, people skills and plenty of patience. The music
education program at the University of Northern Colorado instills all of these qualities
in its students, educating some of the best music teachers in Colorado and beyond.

AT DU: Any functioning democracy needs smart policy analysts, whether to

fact-check the claims of politicians, help shape their platforms or chart the course
of regulatory agencies. At the Institute for Public Policy Studies, students learn to
analyze public policy for governments, nonprofit groups and private sector companies.
Master’s students even write a formal policy memorandum as their capstone project,
researching a real-world policy issue, gathering data and interviewing professionals
before devising recommended courses of action.

ACROSS COLORADO: Succeeding in the political arena today requires a clear
understanding of the landscape, including the pitfalls, obstacles and opponents that
stand in your way. The Center for New Directions in Politics and Public Policy at the
University of Colorado-Denver trains students in this art of political cartography, to
ensure that they can effectively fight for the public interest when they graduate.

32 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

AT DU: In a highly active state like Colorado, it’s critical that doctors have the

expertise to help patients recover quickly from sports-related injuries. That’s precisely
what the Human Dynamics Lab at DU’s Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics helps
to develop. The lab uses cameras, motion-capture systems and other technologies to
precisely measure how human bones and muscles move—information that researchers
can use to develop more effective rehabilitation techniques.

ACROSS COLORADO: Scientists at the Gates Center for Regenerative

Medicine on the University of Colorado-Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus develop
breakthrough stem-cell and protein-based therapies for treating cancer and other
diseases. Yet until recently, they lacked a quick way to move their breakthroughs from
the lab bench to the clinical trial stage that precedes the launch of any new medical
product. That changed with the 2015 launch of the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility,
where scientists can now mass produce new therapies and simply walk them across the
street for clinical trials at the University of Colorado Hospital, helping breakthrough
treatments reach sick patients faster than ever before.

AT DU: These days, it seems like there’s an app for just about everything, and if

there’s not, there may be a business opportunity. To help young business students
launch headfirst into the app economy, the Daniels College of Business launched
the Madden App Challenge in 2012, pitting teams against one another in a quest for
the most innovative or useful mobile phone or tablet application. Faculty advisors,
professional entrepreneurs and 12- to 18-year-old app consumers judge the contest,
whose most recent winner this spring was TrekK, a travel app that allows users easy
access to information on health care and transportation and translation of basic
phrases in a selected country. Other early standouts included Airnotes, which allows
students to combine their class notes into a cloud-based document, and an app
enabling domestic violence victims to quickly call for help.

ACROSS COLORADO: The Innovation Institute at Colorado College serves as

a clearinghouse for social entrepreneurship on campus, helping students, faculty, staff
and alumni launch projects and companies that benefit the greater good. The institute
runs a boot camp for startups, along with workshops, presentations and a program
called the Soup Project Challenge, which funds efforts to alleviate poverty, hunger and
homelessness in Colorado Springs.


5,643 6,166 2,862
undergraduate students

graduate students

full- & part-time
faculty and staff




(in the form of salaries and benefits)
to the Colorado economy in 2014

34 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

In this photo from the archives, Pioneers football
fans participate in a cheer (an early version of the
wave, perhaps?) from the stands near the 45-yard
line during a game held sometime between 1945
and 1960. Can you help us ID this photo or do you
want to share your memories of DU football games?
Email us at [email protected]

The classes


Virginia Lacy (BA ’42) of San Diego,
Calif., is retired and spent August of 2014
traveling through Turkey and Greece with
her daughter. When she isn’t traveling,
Virginia spends her time cooking,
exercising and volunteering.


Robert Eberlein (BSBA ’65) of Los
Angeles is a director of photography
and executive producer. Through his
company, Image Streams, Robert focuses
on preproduction and production of
live-action sequences for visual effects
compositing in feature films.
John Kirby (BSBA ’65) of Woodland
Hills, Calif., is president of the Kirby
Auto Group, which reached $10 million in
monthly sales after the opening of two new
dealerships. John started the company in
Carole Spreitzer (BA ’65) lives in
Chicago with Dick Spreitzer, her husband of
33 years. The couple has one son, Mark,
28. Carole received her MA in social work
in 1968 from the University of Chicago and
worked for 42 years in the family service
field as a clinician, supervisor and office
director. She has been retired for five years
and is active in environmental and social
justice issues. She also is active in her local
Lutheran church.


Alan Sternberg (BSBA ’67) of
Bloomington, Ill., received the McLean
County Bar Association’s Abraham Lincoln
Award of Excellence in recognition of
his service to the public good and for
upholding the highest standards of legal


Eduardo Domingues (BS ’68) of Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, is head of marketing at
Brasil Solair. The company is pioneering
alternative on-site electric energy systems
with solar- and wind-powered generators.
Eduardo has been working at advertising
agencies in Brazil for nearly 40 years.


Charles Socha (BA ’69, JD ’71) of
Greenwood Village, Colo., was named to
the 2015 list of the Best Lawyers in America.
Charles works for the law firm Tucker
Ellis LLP, where he specializes in mass tort
litigation and class action lawsuits.


Freddy Bosco (BA ’70) of Denver,
who served as the city’s poet laureate
in the 1980s, bequeathed his archives
to the Denver Public Library’s Western
History Division. The collection includes
dozens of journals, drawings and letters in
correspondence with Hillary Clinton, Kate
Middleton, Anne Waldman and others.


Robert Seal (MA ’72) of Evanston, Ill.,
was named Academic/Research Librarian
of the Year for 2015 by the Association of
College and Research Libraries, a division
of the American Library Association.
Robert is dean of University Libraries at
Loyola University in Chicago.


Charles Lilley (BSBA ’76, JD ’79) of
Denver retired from his career as an
attorney after 36 years. Charles is working
for 27 months in Uganda as a small business
advisor for the Peace Corps.

36 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


Ricardo Dadoo (BSBA ’80) of Mexico
City is an operating partner for the
Clarendon Group, a privately owned
company focused on developing investment
opportunities and providing strategic
advisory services for transportation,
distribution and logistics sectors. Ricardo
is founder and president of Logistics Dadoo
and has been in the transportation and
logistics business for more than 30 years.
Erik Prenzler (BSBA ’80) of
Bloomington, Ill., sold Prenzler Outdoor
Advertising and now concentrates on
commercial real estate. Erik also is project
director for Habitat for Humanity McLean
County and a board member at Home Sweet
Home Ministries.


Robert Margolis (BSBA ’84) of
Bethesda, Md., is CEO of TM Associates
Management Inc., the seventh largest
affordable rural management company in
the United States. Robert’s company won
the Spectrum Excellence in Management
Award in 2012 and has since won the
Earthcraft Virginia Award at the Virginia
Governor’s Housing Conference.


Gregory Holt (MA ’85) of Cedar Falls,
Iowa, is artistic director of the Waterloo
Community Playhouse.
Linda Shea (BME ’85), previously the
instrumental music director at Summit
High School in Breckenridge, Colo., moved
to Prague, Czech Republic in July 2015
to pursue the study of Central European
clarinet music through the prestigious
Fulbright Program.


Justin Gitlin is all about community.
As one of seven founders of Denver-based social-media
network Ello, Gitlin and his company—creative computation
studio Mode Set—are making headlines as the team behind the
latest and greatest online community. The site’s claim to fame is
that it’s ad-free and has pledged never to sell its users’ data.
“We’re not another Silicon Valley site. We’re homegrown
out of Denver,” Gitlin (BA ’02) says. “We’re taking a stance
against the current industry model of selling advertisements.
People really seem to love that.”
Offline, Gitlin is connecting people the old-fashioned
way—in person. He’s the brains behind OhHeckYeah, a series
of community-building, interactive video games that launched
in downtown Denver in summer 2014. On 15 different nights
spread over the course of two months, the project took over
the giant LED screens at the Denver Center for the Performing
Arts and turned them into a gaming street festival. Mode Set is
continuing the project and taking it to multiple cities, including
Boston, where OhHeckYeah launched in May 2015 as a
partnership with Northeastern University.
“I like to refer to it as making magic in the street,” Gitlin
says. “We’re providing a safe place where people of all types
play games together. It’s using the same technology we can
build a social network with, to a large degree, but rather than
online, we’re using it to bring us together in real life to have a
shared experience.”
At DU, Gitlin was a double major in computer science
and Emergent Digital Practices (EDP)—a DU-specific major
that brings together art, design, media, culture and technology
studies in a hands-on, collaborative environment.
“I’m using everything I learned in my double major today,”
he says. “The EDP and computer science degrees were the
precursor to the work I do every day, both for my day job and
my digital art side projects.”
And he feels especially fortunate, he says, to have studied
in Denver, where tech-savvy startups are launching on a neardaily basis.
“Starting my career in Denver and having the opportunity
to work with so many talented people has brought me to my
current place,” he says. “All of the people you meet along
the way may become your boss, give you a referral, or even
just spark an idea that leads you to your next chapter. It’s all
about working hard in your field and being a good community
member. Share the wealth and treat people right, and you’ll go
as far as you can dream.”
—Kathryn Mayer (BA ’07, MA ’10)

Wayne Armstrong

ARTIST Justin Gitlin (BA ‘02)

University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015



CONNECTOR Olga Garcia (MSS ’93)
Wayne Armstrong

Olga Garcia has found a second home at Museo de las
Americas, the Denver-based museum and community center
dedicated to Latino art and culture. Sitting in the museum’s
gallery, surrounded by the colorful, geometrically precise
paintings of Mexican artist Gunther Gerzso, she talks about the
importance of the museum to her personally—she is a longtime
board member who met her husband at the Museo—and to
Denver’s young Latino community.
“It’s much more than a museum; the backbone of this
organization really is education,” says Garcia, who was
involved in the institution’s founding in 1991. “[The staff creates]
curriculum and works with Denver Public Schools, they have a
team of teachers who go out to communities in our six-county
area, and there are school tours that come in. We have a threeweek summer camp program, and it’s more than just learning
about art. It’s more about career aspirations—what does it take
to run a business like this? There’s a business behind everything.
We need accountants, we need lawyers; we need everybody to
come together and do what they love.”

38 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015

Connecting with diverse
communities is nothing new to Garcia—
she has made a career out of it. She
worked for 25 years at Coors Brewing
Co. in Golden, Colo., serving from
2006–10 as manager of diversity
and inclusion in the company’s human
resources department. A master’s
degree in applied communications from
DU’s University College helped her
hone her skills.
“We worked with the Latino,
African-American and LGBT
communities, women’s organizations—
we had specific programming that
resonated with those communities, and
I think that helped us build a strong
foundation to go forward with,” says Garcia, pointing to the
National Hispana Leadership Institute and other organizations
for which Coors was a founding corporate sponsor. “It was
about getting to the root of, ‘How do you make a positive
impact? What are the issues in the community?’ It’s a work in
progress, because communities are always changing.”
For her work at Museo, Denver Health and elsewhere,
Garcia was honored in May by Denver’s Latina First Foundation,
which named her one of four “Unsung Heroines” in the local
Latino community.
“I was very honored to be in the company of such great
leaders,” she says. “I think it’s an opportunity for the foundation
to highlight what Latina leaders are doing in our community,
and that no matter the area, we’re contributing and making
a difference in a way that can be appreciated. It’s good to
spotlight what has been done and what still needs to be done.”
—Greg Glasgow



John Pestovich (BS ’86, MEPM ’94)
of Kennewick, Wash.,
retired as a lieutenant
colonel after 28 years of
service in the U.S. Army
Reserve, where he worked
as a military analyst
with the J83 Strategic
Assessment Division.

Marlene Casini (MA ’90) of Columbus,
Ohio, earned the
chartered advisor
in philanthropy
designation from
the American
College of Financial
Services. Marlene is
president and CEO of the Delaware County

Steven Zahorik (MBA ’86) of Castle
Pines, Colo., received the 2014 Five Star
Wealth Manager award. Recipients are
selected by nomination from peers or
firms, and awards are based on 10 objective
criteria, including client retention rates,
client assets administered, firm review and
favorable regulatory history. Steven works
as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo.


Kerry Lombardi (JD ’93) of Denver
was appointed judge in the Denver County
Court by Mayor Michael Hancock.
Lombardi currently is chief deputy district
attorney and has served in the Denver
District Attorney’s Office for 20 years.



Kristin Ovens (BA ’96, MBA ’99) of
Lafayette, Colo., co-founded the Confluence
Small Business Collective. The company
offers small business and professional
education programming in addition to coworking space.


Jeff McClelland (BA ’97, JD ’12) of Denver
has joined Kutak Rock LLP as an associate
in the firm’s litigation group. He focuses his
practice on commercial and civil litigation.


Patricia Aaron (MFA ’98) of
Greenwood Village, Colo., exhibited new
paintings in summer 2015 at William
and Joseph Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., the
SPACE Gallery in Denver and the Curtis
Arts and Humanities Center in Greenwood
Village, Colo.













Efe Poturoglu (BSBA ’00) of Bethesda,
Md., received the
Lawyer of the Year
Award from the
Association of
Washington, D.C.
Efe’s practice focuses
primarily on business
and family immigration matters, as well as
civil litigation.


Jeremy Weltman (BS ’01) of Boston is
a partner at law firm
Kerstein, Coren
& Lichtenstein LLP.
Jeremy received his
JD from Northeastern
University School
of Law and has
been named to the
Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star
list for the past two years.


Travis Maynard (MBA ’02) of Fort
Collins, Colo., an associate professor in the
department of management at Colorado
State University, was awarded a Fulbright
Scholar Award and is currently working
with faculty members and PhD students at
the ISCTE Business School at the Instituto
Universitario de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal.


Ben Jones (BA ’04) of Santa Monica,
Calif., is director and co-founder of Fugitive
Games, a company dedicated to creating
quality entertainment for players of all ages.
The company’s first game, Into the Stars, is
available on PC and Macintosh.


Angela Dykema (MRLS ’06) of Reno,
Nev., has been appointed deputy director
of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy,

bringing to the office years of experience
in wind, solar and geothermal energy
development. Before her appointment,
Angela worked for Ormat Technologies
Inc., where she managed project
development, including transmission
and interconnection processes, power
purchase agreements, bid management and
Kathryn Troyer (MA ’06) of Denver is
assistant director of Global Dental Relief,
a Denver-based nonprofit that provides
free dental care and oral hygiene care
to children in Guatemala, India, Nepal,
Cambodia and Kenya.


Carolyn Anders (MBA, MS ’07) of
Newtown, Conn.,
was promoted to
sales development
manager for New
York Life Insurance
Co.’s Jacksonville, Fla.,
general office. She
previously was a New
York Life agent in the Washington, D.C., area,
where she also served as president of the city’s
DU alumni chapter.
Adam Becker (BSBA ’07) of Denver
was promoted to senior director of
marketing, Colorado Avalanche and
Colorado Mammoth, at Kroenke Sports &
Lindsay Fryer (BSAC ’07, MACC ’07)
of Centennial, Colo., is internal audit
principal at Nordstrom FSB, a subsidiary of
Nordstrom Inc.
Charles Smith (BSBA ’07, JD ’12) of
Highlands Ranch, Colo., was appointed to
the associate board for ACE scholarships by
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Charles,
an associate in the Denver office, will
advocate for education reform and school
choice, host organizational events and work
with scholarship recipients.

40 University of Denver Magazine FALL 2015


Spencer Hellmuth (BSBA ’09) is a
commercial banking representative at MB
Financial Bank in Chicago.
Tommy Miller (BSBA ’09, MBA ’11) of
Chicago joined Speedwagon Properties, a
private real estate investment firm.
Joe Pellar (BA ’09) of Vail, Colo., is CEO
and founder of, a website
that distributes wine from small boutique
wineries at discount prices.


Matthew Contos (MA ’10) of Brooklyn,
N.Y., was awarded several grants during his
time at DU that helped fund community
projects through Kinda Collective, an arts and
education community group. Today, Matthew
is based in Brooklyn, where he is continuing
his artist practice as part of a new company
called CONTOS+WIKSWO. The company
combines the use of literature, multidisciplinary art, performance and community
research to explore the power dynamics and
construction of cultural narratives.
Mila Gates (MA ’10) of Lakewood, Colo.,
has started her own event and weddingplanning business, Belle du Jour Events.
Sol Richardson (MBA ’10) of Denver
owns Rising Sun Distillery, which makes
vodka, gin and brandy using mostly local
and organic ingredients.
Ryan Shultz (BSBA ’10) of Chicago in
July 2013 joined Sterling Partners, a private
equity firm. Ryan is an associate on the
investment team. Prior to Sterling, Shultz
was an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in the
health care investment banking group.
Kelly Urig (BA ’10) of San Diego, Calif.,
authored “New Mexico Chiles: History,
Legend and Lore” (Arcadia Publishing and
The History Press, 2015), an examination of
the role of chiles in New Mexico’s history.
Kelly also directed the documentary film
“The Chile Film.”


Amanda Hoberg (BA ’11) of Denver
has joined the firm Brownstein Hyatt
Farber Schreck as an associate. Amanda is
a member of the litigation department, and
her practice focuses on commercial and
complex civil litigation.
Eric Larsen (BA ’11) of Portland, Ore.,
is currently living and working in New
Zealand after first being exposed to the
country during a DU study-abroad trip. He
is a policy analyst for the Ministry of Justice
in the capital of Wellington.
Jeffrey Larson (BSBA ’11) of Santa
Clara, Calif., is a sales financial analyst at
Filemaker Inc.


Ciandra Jackson-Mills (MPS ’12) of
Houston is director of communications for
Legacy Community Health.
Zachary Mangelsdorf (IMBA ’12) of
Avon, Colo., owns Mountain Ski and Bike,
which rents and delivers ski gear.


Josh Pinkert (MBA ’13) of Denver was
promoted to CIO and vice president of
EnCana Corp.
Michael Pugh (MBA ’13) is senior CRM
developer/analyst and technical lead at Vail
Resorts’ corporate office in Broomfield,
Colo. He also is a member of the Daniels
Alumni Giving Committee.

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Daniel Rosenblum (BSBA ’13) of
Littleton, Colo., is managing director of
Group One Ventures and a broker with 5th
Avenue Properties.


Katelynn Johnson (BS, MAcc ’14)
of Denver is an assurance associate at
Adam Rosen (BSBA ’14) of Denver is
lease administrator at CoreSite Realty Corp.

In Memoriam




Harold Dryden (BA ’38), Woodland, Calif., 3-14-15

George Yasui (BSCHE ’44), Folsom, Calif., 8-16-14
Helen Driscoll (BA ’46, MA ’64), Denver, 4-15-15
Norma Holder (BS ’47), Livermore, Calif., 4-17-15
Patrick Gallavan (BA ’49, MA ’50), Denver, 3-3-15
Vern Klingman (BA ’49), Spokane, Wash., 2-12-15
John Mosley (MSW ’49), Aurora, Colo., 5-22-15
Robert Patten (MA ’49), Brunswick, Maine, 2-21-15


Donald Day (BA ’53, MA ’58), Denver, 4-9-15
Ronald Barkdoll (BS ’54), Denver, 12-28-14
Cynthia Krueger (attd. 1958), Leawood, Kan., 5-3-14


Alton Ford (MA ’61, PhD ’68), Denver, 5-12-15
Alicita Hamilton (MA ’68), Denver, 1-21-15
Nancy Colbert (BA ’69), Seattle, 5-6-15
James Smith (BSBA ’69), Centennial, Colo., 3-28-15

Douglas Bates (JD ’74), Aurora, N.Y., 5-13-15

Ellen Toll (JD ’82), Anchorage, Alaska, 1-19-15
James McAndrew (BA ’84), Wichita, Kan., 5-1-14
Elsa Haworth (MS ’86), Denver, 3-25-15


William Beardslee (BA ’93, JD ’97), Arlington, Va., 3-24-15


Ruth Libby Chaikin (BA ’07), Denver, 4-29-13
Nathan Howells (BA ’08), Portland, Ore., 3-1-15

Faculty and Staff

Deborah Bradford, Office of Sponsored Programs, Denver,
Ralph Fisch, Graduate School of Professional Psychology,
Denver, 1-12-15

Alumnus, historian Peter Gay dies at age 91
Renowned intellectual historian Peter Gay—author of
more than 25 books, including a much-heralded history of the
Enlightenment and a bestselling biography of Sigmund Freud—
died May 12, 2015, at the age of 91.
A 1946 graduate of the University of Denver, Gay was born
as Peter Fröhlich to a family of Jewish ancestry in Berlin in 1923.
With the rise of the Nazis, the Fröhlichs emigrated to Cuba in
1939 and later to the United States, where they changed their
name to Gay, the English translation of their surname. The family
eventually moved to Denver so that Gay’s mother could be treated
for tuberculosis.
After completing his undergraduate studies at DU, Gay received
a master’s and PhD from Columbia University in New York. Gay
taught history at Columbia from 1962–69, then joined the Yale

faculty as a professor of comparative and intellectual European
history. Over the years, he turned his scholarly eye to a vast array of
topics: a study of Mozart; a history of modernism; an examination
of Weimar culture; and what has been called a “revisionist
psychohistory of the Victorian middle classes,” the five-volume
“The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud.”
Gay’s work was internationally recognized for its originality
and erudition. He won the National Book Award in 1967 for the
second volume of “The Enlightenment: An Interpretation.” In 2004,
the American Historical Association saluted his achievements
with its lifetime distinction award. He also won the prestigious
Geschwister-Scholl prize in 1999 for his memoir, “My German
Question: Growing up in Nazi Berlin.”
—Tamara Chapman



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